Cancer-killing protein in breast milk breaks down tumours that patients can pass through urine

Cancer-killing protein in breast milk breaks down tumours that patients can pass through urine

"This is a very important milestone"

A recent study has proved that breast milk has anti-cancer properties thanks to an accidental discovery made over 30 years ago.

Promising results from study show breastmilk kills cancer cells
breastmilk kills cancer

Results from the summer’s clinical trial are very promosing. | Image source: SCMP

The largest clinical trial to date of its kind took place in Prague, Czech Republic. Over the course of a month, forty patients with bladder cancer were administered six doses of a drug that was synthesised from alpha-lactalbumin, a protein found in human breast milk.

It is bound to a fatty acid called oleic acid.

The experimental drug is called Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumour cells, or Hamlet for short.

Hamlet was given through a catheter. The prescribed dosage was given before patients had surgery.

Patients who had the drug were found to have passed out cancer cells from dissolved tumours.

Professor Catharina Svanborg at the Lund University in Sweden shared that “the results inspire us to continue the efforts making Alpha1H available to cancer patients.”

The results were promising, as they proved Hamlet’s ability to target specific tumours with minimal or no side effects.

The future of cancer treatment is bright
breastmilk kills cancer

Professor Catherina Svanborg is the lead for the Hamlet research team. | Image source: SCMP

Mats Persson, the CEO of Hamlet Pharma Ltd, said, “This is a very important milestone for the company. We need more evidence but hopefully this could be the gentle chemotherapy of the future.”

Hamlet has over 20 years of research invested since Professor Svanborg accidentally made the discovery when she led a research team investigating the properties of breastmilk.

While it’s well-known that breastmilk is superior to cow’s milk, she didn’t expect to find the potential cancer-killing protein.

Now, studies showed Hamlet has the ability to kill more than 40 different types of cancer cells in a laboratory setting.

And there are big plans for Hamlet, with the aim of making it an accessible drug worldwide.

“If efficacy can be combined with a lack of toxicity, it is possible that this treatment can be used both as prevention and therapy. The vision would be to make it available worldwide, to patients who are susceptible to certain cancers, or who suffer from tumours that can be reached and treated with this substance,” Professor Svanborg said.

It could potentially be a viable and more comfortable alternative to current treatment options like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, due to Hamlet’s ability to target tumour cells while leaving healthy, adjacent cells unharmed. There are also no signs of side effects associated with commonplace treatment options such as nausea, hair loss, and nerve damage.

 

Another reason why breastmilk is so good!

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Written by

Vinnie Wong

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